Gettysburg Distress

Published: October 24, 2016

By Jim Lichtman
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The weather was a breezy sixty-five degrees that day. Amidst a raging war, the featured speaker took his place near the front of a crowd of hundreds who had gathered to hear the solemn words. Looking at his carefully prepared notes, a hushed silence came over the crowd.

President Lincoln,” he began, “served in a time of division like we’ve never seen before. It is my hope that we can look at his example to heal the divisions we are living through right now, and Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

“The system is totally rigged and broken. [The media is] dishonest. They lie and fabricate stories to make a candidate that is not their preferred choice look as bad, and even dangerous, as possible… you know it, they know it, everybody knows it.”

A tall, somber-looking gentleman dressed in black slowly bowed and shook his head.

At the conclusion of the candidate’s speech, the man patiently waited for the crowd to disperse. A couple of Secret Service agents had a few words with the old gentleman, then ushered him closer to the candidate.

“Well, Abe,” the nominee asked, “how did I do?”

The old man’s disposition was unwelcoming. “Look, I came here to talk to you about…”

“….Did you like the part about healing divisions?”

“I did, but then you started assailing your critics…”

“Abe, come on!” the candidate interrupted again. “I’m under attack, here!”

“Your job is not to attack. It’s to assuage the bitter divisions that exist in this Republic.”

“Gotta understand something about me, when people hit me, I hit back, HARD!”

“I’m trying to show you how to reach and inspire the undecideds.”

“Abe,” the contender stressed, “Times are different. When I speak, I speak the truth that people want to hear.”

“I’ve been to PolitiFact. Believe me, you’re far from the truth.”

“I said: the truth people want to hear. Big difference.”

The old man grabbed the candidate by his lapels and hoisted all 240 pounds into the air, “I … am out here for YOU! You don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here for YOU,” he adds, setting the big man down. “It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, okay?”

The nominee begins to laugh. “You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you, Abe!”

“Let’s bury the attitude a little bit and show them…

“Wait,” the nominee said, slowly turning orange. “You’re telling me to dance.”

“No,” the tall man says, “I’m saying, to get back to the guy who first started playing this game, way back when, when you were a kid. It wasn’t just about the money, was it?”

“Do your job! Don’t you tell me to dance!”

“I’m trying to tell you how to be a great man.”

“You become a great man by hanging your balls out there, and that’s what I did!.”

“FINE!”

“I’m an entertainer, not a politician.”

“FINE, FINE!!”

“These are the ABC’s of me, baby.” The nominee grows concerned when he notices the old man struggling. “Breathe, Abe, breathe.”

The advisor slowly turns and tries, one more time. “Help me … help you. Help me… help YOU! Help MEEEE… HELP YOOOU!

The 70-year-old candidate looks bewildered as Abe turns and slowly walks away.

“Wait, come back, ABE!”

The old man waves a final good-bye.

“You see, that’s the difference between us: you think we’re fightin’ and I know I’m reachin’ my people!

“ABE! … COME BACK!  …  I’LL MAKE YOU MY CHIEF-OF-STAFF! … AAAABE!!!!”

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